In today’s fast-paced and caffeine-driven world, it seems like the need to say no is absent in most people. You can’t say no because people will look at you with judging eyes. You can’t say no because you will most likely upset your colleagues. And you can’t say no because you feel guilty and scared that no one will like you anymore.

I understand your situation completely. Confession time? I used to say yes all the time too because the thought of saying no cripples me.

Now, though, I regret the times when I failed to say no just because of peer pressure. Let’s learn to face the music here: saying yes to everyone is stressful. It’s selfish. And it’s definitely not good for your mental, physical and spiritual health!

My friend, it’s time you start saying no. No to people you don’t like, no to parties you don’t even fancy and certainly no to activities that don’t make you a better person.

Go ahead and say no, because:

1. You don’t owe anybody anything.

Contrary to popular opinion, you are not really obligated to do something to someone.

Sure, your boss pays you to be productive at work and to produce effective and efficient returns, but you’re not obligated to be at his call every single second of every work day.

Yes, you’re married to your life partner and you love him very much, but you’re not obligated to be the subject of his whim every time.

And of course, your parents raised you and still love you, but you are not supposed to bend your convictions just to suit their own stereotypical beliefs.

Life isn’t a day in the office where you have all these obligations to distract you and make you feel busy. It’s an enriching and satisfying adventure that you have to tackle in order to be productive and fulfilled.

2. You can never control everybody’s opinion of you.

Whatever you do, whatever you say, people will judge you either fairly or harshly. Don’t sweat this small thing. Don’t let it ruin your day.

If you’re basing your decision whether to say yes or to say no on the fact that you care about what other people will say, stop. It’s not worth all the trouble.

3. You’re the only one who can really identify your priorities in life.

Your happiness will be made up of the choices that you make in life. If you’re not sure about something, say no to it. If you’re hesitant because you know deep inside your heart that you’re not too thrilled about the idea, say no.

If it’s not really what you want, say no. No one can tell you which specific activities you should be doing to feel happy and fulfilled in life. You are the only one who can do this for yourself.

4. You’re your number one citizen.

A lot of people ignore this fact but it still is true: you are the person who is going to be mostly affected by the decisions you make in your life.

If you decide to do something and fail to follow through, you’re the one who’s going to be most stressed. If you say yes to a drunken party at 11 in the evening, you’re the one who’s going to have a massive hangover and a horde of angry clients the next day. If you say yes to a lifetime commitment that you’re not really happy about, you’re the one who’s going to suffer terribly in the long run.

5. Life moves on.

Life flows, it moves and it progresses whether you say no or not. You can spend the rest of your life hurrying, fast-tracking and running around because you say yes all the time…

Or you can spend your life relaxing, moving at a gentle pace and savoring every minute because you say no to the things that don’t really matter.

It’s your call. Live the life you want! Make your own destiny. It can all start if you realize that it’s okay to say no.

Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No: The Gentle Art of Saying No

Featured photo credit: Bentom Wyemji via Flickr

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